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Friday, Apr 20, 2018
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Boys Soccer Region Finals Preview

All games at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Class 5A-2

East Lake (20-3-1) at Newsome (17-5-1)

NEED TO KNOW: The Wolves are hoping to make a first appearance in the boys soccer state final four and East Lake is looking to return since falling in the semifinals in 1998. Newsome defeated Orlando Freedom, 2-0, on Tuesday as the Wolves have won seven straight. Scoring threats Eric Lint and Austin Cobb have been big distractions for defenders, while Jake Van Der Luit has made his presence known with eight goals (including the decider against Freedom) since returning from an injury at the start of the district tournament. The Wolves’ exciting offense has been supported by a tough defense, which has allowed just four goals in the Wolves last eight matches, anchored by junior Connor Fitzgerald. On the third try of the season, East Lake finally defeated Steinbrenner on Tuesday as the Eagles got a 4-3, overtime win on Alejandro Gonzalez’s first goal of the year. The Eagles have a speedy defense that will try to contain, Cobb, Lint and Van Der Luit, along with a good keeper in Sean Caulfield. East Lake’s offense has a number of weapons led by Josh Page who is knocking on the door of 100 career goals.

Class 4A-2

Mitchell (22-3-1) at Melbourne (21-1-1)

NEED TO KNOW: The Mustangs return to the region final for the first time since 2010, the same year they won Pasco County’s first and only boys soccer state championship. Mitchell is led by leading scorer Mico Petrovich, who has a team-high 32 goals and 20 assists, but keep an eye on Brady Friedman and Chet Kirtley, who have 16 and 14 goals, respectively, including two by Kirtley in the region semifinals. The Bulldogs are led by Giovanni Ottomanelli, who scored the lone goal on an assist from Owen Tworkowski in their 1-0 region semifinal win over Lake Nona. Keeper Caleb Glover has also been tough to get by in goal.

Class 3A-2

Palm Coast Matanzas (18-3-5) at Sunlake (28-1-1)

NEED TO KNOW: The Seahawks are looking to make the state semifinals for the second-straight season and are back in the region final thanks to outscoring opponents 170-17 and behind sophomore Remi Pimm’s record setting season. Pimm has 63 goals, which ties the Pasco County record and is just six shy of the state record. Pimm also has 38 assists, but that’s second to Connor Spencer’s 41 assists. Spencer also has 26 goals, Cobi Shirmo has 23 and Chris Wilkinson has added 17. Keeper Danny Hrenko has 20 shutouts and Sunlake has outscored its opponents in the first two regional rounds 15-1. The Pirates are led by their two leading scorers Dakotah Casale (14) and Nick Weber (11), while Weber has 24 assists. Matanzas has outscored opponents 75-23 this season.

Jesuit (15-4-3) at Merritt Island (19-1-1)

NEED TO KNOW: Jesuit has steamrolled competition in the postseason posting a 26-0 goal differential since the district tournament began. The Tigers topped Tarpon Springs in the region semifinal 7-0, decided by Jacob Starnes first of two goals on a throw-in off the Spongers keeper. Jesuit has had a good chance to showcase a number of different players in recent wins. Leading scorer Jacob Vila heads a talented offense from the midfield, while senior defender Michael Conlon is a force all over the field and keeper Lucas Schmeling has eight shutouts this season. Merritt Island defeated Auburndale 5-1 on Tuesday behind a pair of Jake Bennett goals. Merritt Island won a state title in 2009.

Class 2A-3

Fort Myers Bishop Verot (18-0-3) at Berkeley Prep (9-10-5)

NEED TO KNOW: Berkeley Prep has shown that records have very little to do with playoff success as the Buccaneers success after the regular season is hard to argue with. The Buccaneers are hoping to reach the state final four for the third straight season. Tuesday, Berkeley Prep held on to 2-1 win behind goals from Quinton Kauchick and Kyle Dagostino, and standout play from keeper Ben Milliken. Bishop Verot remained undefeated topping DeSoto County, 2-1, on Tuesday. Tyler Yergens had a goal and an assist in the win for Bishop Verot and the Vikings defense has allowed just eight goals on the year.

Class 1A-2

Bradenton St. Stephen’s (13-2-1) at Carrollwood Day (18-4-1), 3:30 p.m

NEED TO KNOW: Carrollwood Day senior John Frost sent home the deciding penalty kick to earn the Patriots a 2-1 (4-2 PKs) win against Shorecrest Prep on Tuesday to continue the Patriots longest post-season boys soccer run alive. Frost also scored the Patriots goal in regulation, while CDS has been led all season by sophomore Miguel Ridruejo who has 30 goals, often set up by Frost who leads the team with 15 assists. Sophomore Spencer Peek had an assist in the region semifinals and has 10 goals this year. St. Stephen’s defeated Fort Myers Evangelical Christian, 3-1, Tuesday, scoring three unanswered goals to come from behind for the win. Falcons senior Jeremy Jackman had a goal and two assists in the region semifinal win, while senior keeper JJ Byrnes had a number of saves as the two lead a number of seniors who reached the final four as freshman in 2011.

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